Here is the author's preface:
As my mind goes back over the past my life seems to have contained in experience and events enough for twenty lives. How did I ever live it all? Had I known I was to live it, would my courage have been sufficient to face it?
There was never a dull moment. It has been crowded, packed to the brim with excitement, misery, work, luxury and poverty. Circumstances have often demanded the last ounce of my strength; but something has reinforced me at the breaking point and driven me on. Reeling through incidents as if suffering from an attack of vertigo, I have stumbled on -- events flying past like scenes from an express train. How they have flashed past--the struggles--the difficulties--the unfair opposition--the escapes--the adventures in love and passion--the few scarlet triumphs! The giddiness of it all makes my brain reel--my alarming, impetuous brain; for ever fighting a losing battle with what tranquility it can muster. The days have been long enough to accomplish wat had to be done. Insomnia has been a good friend, for it has given me the time and the peace to think.
You begin to doubt because the story is so overwhelming--the activity so mad--the longing so intense--the energy so extreme.
I am the grave in which all this is buried. It was buried deeply and over it I placed the stone of secrecy. I meant never to remove the stone, but others have threatened to remove it, and with their clumsy, unsympathetic hands to exhume the contents of the grave.
I prefer to conduct the excavation. I shall put everything before you and you shall judge. I cannot hesitate in the operation to show you the many sides of each experience for one presses down on the other and there are so many to unearth.
(I think it's not impossible that GB was a sort of nonsense continental princess of some kind - one of her American books was published under Princess Gervee Baronti.)